AT THE POINT OF TURNING
for Herbert Williams
Herb, I know how hard it is just to get out,
but I half-expected by the front
at the end of the promenade,
to see you and Dorothy again.
You always say – ‘I’ll try to make it!’
The Big C you write to laugh off.
This town which gave us so much:
Aber Boyz erioed erioed
(Parrys of the word not note).
Now it’s like different generations
side by side, yet not communicating.
Young and lively grandchildren
with their names yn Cymraeg,
with a sense of just-born pride.
The middle-aged hinterland
of trekking boots and retail parks
and photocopy geography of familiar signs.
Blanked-out windows and scaffolding,
joints swollen by the salt-damp
and just a stick or metal frame.
Herb, I tell myself it’s all for summer,
that paint will dry for another season
when I’ll meet you there, at the point of turning.